Many elderly people have not increased the frequency of going out even after the government fully lifted its state of emergency over the coronavirus in late May, causing adverse effects on their willingness to live, according to the survey.
The estimated number of people aged 65 or older in Japan stood at 36.17 million as of Tuesday, accounting for 28.7 pct of the nation’s total population, with both figures hitting record highs, an internal affairs ministry survey showed Sunday. The survey results were released ahead of Respect for the Aged Day on Monday, a national holiday.
Japan’s health ministry has decided to give seasonal flu shots to elderly people first, from October 1. The decision was made on Friday amid concerns over simultaneous outbreaks of influenza and coronavirus infections, which are hard to distinguish.
The plan is to call on people aged 65 and over to get vaccinated for influenza starting in early October. Then from the latter half of October, medical workers, people with pre-existing conditions, pregnant women and infants will be encouraged to get the vaccine.
The “Slow Register” campaign was proposed by Kaori Abe, 53, who runs a city-based nonprofit organization that supports elderlies and people with disabilities. The idea came after older people would often tell her things like, “I take time to take out cash from my wallet, and feel pressured if a line has formed behind me,” and, “I get hesitant to go shopping after people in the line behind me show their irritation.” It’s the first initiative of its kind in the Kyushu region, according to Abe.
Increased calls for staying at home to prevent the spread of the virus has seen older people reduce both physical activity and interactions with friends, neighbors and others, raising the risk of falling into a state of physical or mental frailty.